Responsible Built Community

Responsible Built Environment

Over 90% rated Boise quality of life as good

2016 Citizen Survey 

The “built environment” is everything around us created by people: buildings, neighborhoods, roads, parks, utilities and more. Boise is committed to thoughtful and careful development that values every square foot of land, because we recognize that our physical environment is key to our livability. This means moving beyond conventional sprawl-style development, which consumes open space and tends to increase the cost of services to current residents. Instead, Boise actively promotes compact development that respects existing neighborhoods, stable and walkable mixed-use, diversity in housing types, efficient use of infrastructure, and access to a wide array of open spaces and services.


Crowd walking on a street

Central Addition | LIV District


The Central Addition’s revitalization through collaborative public and private investment made significant strides since 2015. A complete remodel of the Broad Street corridor was completed in 2017 and included the installation of green stormwater infrastructure, extension of the nation’s largest geothermal system, fiber optic access and a tree-lined street that expands urban canopy and promotes walkability and economic development. The result is Boise’s first green turnkey development in the city’s first urban core neighborhood.

Library exterior

Library! at Bown Crossing


After seven years of planning, public input, and construction, the Library! at Bown Crossing opened its doors to an eager public in 2017. In addition to housing a collection of more than 40,000 items, state-of-the-art information technology, and a children’s section, the library also features public art and serves as a community center for Southeast Boise residents and businesses. The library was also designed with sustainability and efficiency in mind. The city used responsibly sourced and recycled materials, including sustainable cork floorings, recycled glass in the interior concrete, locally sourced sandstone, and insulation made from reused materials including shredded blue jeans. Solar panels and adaptive lighting were installed for energy efficiency, and water-wise landscaping and natural stormwater filtration lessen the library’s environmental impact.


Fire Station Exterior
Green Building Project: Boise Fire Station 8

Green Building Construction Code


Focusing on environmentally responsible site development and land use, water conservation, energy conservation, indoor environmental quality and other factors, Boise’s adoption of the code was a major milestone. The code is now standard for all city-owned construction projects but voluntary for other developers. Projects that meet the standards receive expedited permit processing and assistance throughout the development process. Upon completion, a plaque commemorating the building’s designation as a “Boise Green Building” project is installed on its exterior.


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